Four Ways to Get Twitter Followers
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The other day, someone asked me how he could get others to follow him on Twitter. That’s a question many of us have pondered, whether we’re just getting started on Twitter, are trying to grow our following, or are trying to figure out whether it would be worthwhile to use Twitter at all. Here are a few strategies that work, as well as a few that don’t.
Before we get started, keep in mind that Twitter isn’t a popularity contest! It’s more important to have a small group of genuine Twitter followers than thousands of so-called followers who don’t actually read your tweets or connect with you in any way, so don’t get caught up in schemes that promise you thousands of new followers overnight. Your focus should be on attracting followers who are the type of people you need to have in your network, including representatives from businesses who provide products or services which complement your own, potential clients, and others who can help you grow your business in some way.
When people first see you on Twitter, they’ll generally only take a couple of seconds to decide whether or not to follow you, so make sure your profile is compelling. You don’t necessarily need to fuss about creating a custom background, since people who use TweetDeck and similar tools won’t see it anyway, but you should make sure that your user name and picture represent you effectively. Using your bio section to make a sales pitch can put people off very quickly, so instead create a message that will make people interested in learning more about you and what you have to say.
Potential followers will usually scan your recent tweets to determine the answer to their number one question, “What’s in it for me?” If they see that you share valuable information and engage with others, they’re much more likely to follow you than if all they see is comments about the weather, the traffic, Survivor, and what you are having for lunch today.
You probably started following people in your target audience in the hopes that they would follow you back. This is not necessarily a bad strategy, since many users automatically follow everyone who follows them. (Of course, if they’re using an automated system to do so, they still may not realize that you exist.) Whether they do or not, it’s up to you to attract their attention so you can begin building a relationship. Some people will stop following someone, then start following them again, hoping that maybe this time it will work. It probably won’t. It’s more likely to make you look desperate or stalkerish. A better way to get someone’s attention is to retweet or respond to what they’ve posted, or to tweet about them on “Follow Friday” or another Twitter meme.
Lastly, it may seem obvious, but let everyone know how to find you on Twitter. This means that your Twitter ID or a link to your profile should be prominently displayed on your website, your blog, your other social networking profiles, your email signature, and even your business card.
By implementing these strategies, I’ve grown my Twitter followers in the past year from 85 to over 1100.
Please leave a comment describing what works for you. And if you’re not already, please follow me on Twitter!